Another day starts with beams of sunlight dappling the branches outside the cabin windows. Looks like a good day for scoping out the close-by trails and getting ready for something more adventurous the next day.
The cabins are connected with little sidewalks that make it easy for people with luggage to trundle their cases up and down the slopes. At this time of year, there are lots of older people here in groups, and it is clearly much less crowded than the South Rim, be it Mather Campground or the El Tovar itself.
After breakfast we set out for a walk along the rim to get some first views and stretch our legs. It was good to see some school kids out in the sun instead of glued to computers.
Views from the back patio of the Grand Canyon Lodge, and from inside the sunroom.
The North Rim walk we took was along a penninsula with side canyons, and a main view across to the South. Here are some stereo pictures. If you want to see them in 3-D:
* move so you're looking at the pair of pix straight on, and dead center aligned with your nose between one and two feet from the screen
* hold you finger on the screen at the joint between the two pictures
* slowly bring your finger closer to your nose, staying focussed on the fingertip, but being aware that a third middle image will start to form and get wider in the background.
Do not try to change focus to look at it yet.
* keep the focus on your finger and slowly keep moving it closer until this middle picture is about the same width as the left and right pictures.. kinda in the background but don't shift to focus on it.
* now keep the focal point as if you're still looking at your finger, but move your gaze to the pix, and just let your brain process it for a few seconds, and it may snap into 3D for you. Don't force it.
Sometimes just keeping that gaze for 30 seconds brings it in for you. Once you know how it works, it's so simple it takes a second or two with easy practice.
After a good walk, we decided to check out the trailhead for the Roaring Springs trail, a few miles back down the road. We spent an hour or so hiking down just to get an idea of the next day's activity...
You can see the trail winding off into the distance
The North Rim lodge village has no water wells at the site, so they get their water from the Roaring Springs down in the canyon. Electricity flows down to the pumping station (accessible by horseback or helicopter) and water at high pressure comes back up through this pipe. You can feel the pumping vibrations in the old steel pipe.
Having gone downtrail for about an hour, we turned around and came back up, having a much better idea what the actual trail quality would be like the next day, when we'd head down early and strike for Roaring Springs. It's halfway down to the river and a good hike in its own right. We only wanted to get some good leg exercise in, knowing that the rest of the remote North Rim hiking would be exercise enough.
So up we came, and then for the rest of the day I went exploring a more remote area on the backroads while Dave caught up on his letter writing/postcards.
Now is this a great (secret) campsite or what? No people for miles, and accessible by roads, albeit not the kind a car would want to traverse. After a night of watching the stars through the screened top of your tent, imagine waking up with the sun beaming in and these vistas out the front flap.
So another great adventure day done, and time to head on back as the golden hour begins.
And a composting toilet, just like the ones at Mt. Whitney that some rabid environmentalists vandalized and then came back and destroyed, because they didn't like pack animals trucking out the compost. See report #11
The panorama opens out before you. Look at the shadows of the clouds on the oh-so-flat plateau.
And now it's time to head back with a glass of wine and good food waiting.